February 2021 - East Cheshire Hospice

AstraZeneca 2020 Fundraising

AstraZeneca and its employees made a donation of more than £21,000 to East Cheshire Hospice last year.

A total of £12,080 was raised from various fundraising initiatives, including a drive-in cinema on the AZ Campus car park on Charter Way.

The company added a further £9,075, providing a welcome bonus for the charity which endured a tough financial year due to Covid-19.

The cinema experience raised £1,200, while a running challenge between AZ staff in Macclesfield and colleagues in Sweden contributed a similar amount.

AZ also matched donations by staff for 2020 Christmas tree collection, the Hospice’s Now More than Ever Appeal and a Christmas jumper day.

Staff also sold key rings and mask adaptors in aid of the charity, while Sodexo catering staff at AZ made regular cake donations and provided advent calendars.

Kate Bowmar, the Hospice’s Corporate Fundraiser, said: “We can’t thank AstraZeneca enough for their amazing support once again in 2020. It’s been a tough last 12 months for the Hospice and the enthusiasm and commitment shown by AZ is so heart warming, especially in these difficult times.”

Guy Camm,  AZ’s Macclesfield Campus FM Development Manager, said: “We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with the Hospice and, of course, our staff who rallied to the cause in fantastic style in 2020.

“I’m sure that dedication will continue in 2021 through our support for several local charities, including the Hospice.”

Sodexo employees Tim Stevens and Dawn Walsh delivering advent calendars to the Hospice.

Quizmasters’ Profiles

There is one question quiz hosts Paul Morrissey and Mark Watson cannot answer.

When will East Cheshire Hospice quiz teams finally meet up again without the aid of Zoom?

It is 16 months since the last quiz at Marlborough Primary School where it was always a social event as much as a test of general knowledge.

Organisers have held six virtual quizzes since during the pandemic, raising an impressive £7,471 online. The next quiz is on Friday, March 5.

The ECH quiz team have raised more than £38,000 for the Hospice in seven years when Paul and Mark have been firing the questions.

The last quiz drew 89 teams with contestants dotted all over the country.

Quiz masters Paul Morrissey (left) and Mark Watson.

Paul said: “It’s good that people can take part from anywhere, but where we lose out is we can’t hold raffles and sell beer like we do at the face-to-face quizzes. So being able to raise the same amount of money is a challenge.

“It’s about striking the right balance with questions. We don’t want them too hard because there’s a range of different people, particularly at the Hospice quizzes.

“People enjoy the face-to-face get-togethers as much for the crack as the quiz itself.  We do try to push the social side and encourage people to have a good time.”

Paul, who was a Hospice trustee for seven years and is now a vice president, is retired from AstraZeneca where he spent more than 30 years.

He is a quiz veteran like Mark who runs the Macclesfield Quiz League and they are team-mates for the Nags Head ‘B’.

Past quiz host Dave Robinson helps with music rounds at the school events, while the tireless Alison Brammer is co-organiser. Nik Kalka usually runs the bar and now helps with technology. Community Fundraiser Carley Macey co-ordinates for the Hospice.

Quiz bar team (from left) Rick Cohen, Nik Kalka and Mike Kemp.

Mark said: “I’ve got a good memory for facts which frankly aren’t much use anywhere else. Questions which don’t do me the slightest good in real life work really well in this forum!”

“I’ve known Paul a long time – fellow Manchester City supporter – and we get on well and pull each other’s leg. Hopefully, we provide some entertainment.”

Mark retired as a Police Inspector in 2012 and is co-ordinator for the charity Cheshire Crimebeat. He was awarded the MBE for services to community policing, having worked closely on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities for many years.


To join the next quiz on Friday March 5th, go to https://www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/virtual-quiz

Sentimental Jewellery Repairs Help the Hospice

Sentimental jewellery belonging to Vanessa Greveson has been given a new lease of life through her links with East Cheshire Hospice.

Items include a string of pearls given to Vanessa by her late husband Warren who died at the Hospice.

Help came from jewellery expert Helen Dimmick who runs Annie’s Legacy, a fundraising initiative she set up in the name of her late grandmother.

Helen donates 15 per cent of the profit from work undertaken in memory of a loved one to the Hospice which cared for Annie who inspired her love of jewellery.

The two Macclesfield women met after Vanessa read about Helen’s offer in the Hospice newsletter.

Jewellery expert Helen Dimmick who runs Annie’s Legacy.  

Vanessa said: “Helen’s naturally, bright and bubbly personality immediately connects with people.  She completely understands where bereaved people are coming from.

“I had some pieces of jewellery that were particularly meaningful to me which needed adjustments.

“The pearls from Warren needed re-stringing and I had earrings which had been made into a ring before but it wasn’t quite right, so Helen kindly made suggestions about what could be done.

Warren and Vanessa Greveson.

“I also had my mother’s items that I never wore because they didn’t fit or were damaged, so Helen was just the right person to put them back into my life.

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am because it has really made a big difference to me. Helen’s such a sensitive person and she immediately picked up on how the jewellery fits into my psyche.

“She’s so good at keeping her clients informed of exactly what’s going on which is perfect for someone like me who can hardly let go of anything.”

For Vanessa it was also a way of giving something back to the Hospice.

She said: “I knew I needed to find a jeweller who was local to me, but once I saw that Annie’s Legacy had been set up by Helen, I couldn’t pick up the phone fast enough.

“There must be so many people who inherit things that either don’t fit, or who might think ‘that’s lovely, the stones in that brooch are beautiful, but I’d rather it were a ring on my finger.’ Helen would be the person to ask and she’s very knowledgeable.”

* To contact Helen email helen@helendimmick.com, or call 07939 047056.

Warren Greveson’s Care

Vanessa Greveson has given an emotional account of how East Cheshire Hospice provided help when it was most needed.

Her talented musician husband Warren died of cancer in October 2019, spending his last three weeks as a Hospice inpatient. He was 63.

His health was declining when the couple moved to Macclesfield from Anglesey that summer.

Vanessa said: “He was pretty poorly by then. There comes a time in caring for someone when the drug regime needs frequent adjustment and you need instant advice from your medical team. However, you can’t always get hold of the right people just at the right moment.

“We came into the Hospice and that was brilliant. An enormous burden of responsibility had been lifted off my shoulders.

“I knew that someone else was going to know whether to up the syringe driver drugs, and manage any changes.

“I no longer had to relay anything to anyone. I could enjoy being with Warren, though sadly not for long enough.

“What neither of us had anticipated was the effect of the positive, supportive and very caring approach of everyone at the Hospice for us both. We were very happy in those last days together.”

Warren was a composer and producer, writing orchestral music electronically in his studio.

One of his most innovative works was a 2018 album inspired by the Voyager space missions. It was performed at festivals in Anglesey and Orlando. He died before his final work could be performed and released on CD.

Warren in his music studio.

Hospice Events in 2021

Planning fundraising events is proving because of on-going uncertainty over Covid-19.

The events team are still hoping that 2021 might see a long-awaited return of mass participation events, though the pandemic continues to disrupt plans.

The Hospice switched to virtual fundraising events almost a year ago and is still also urging the public to carry on with their own initiatives to provide much-needed revenue.

The flagship Light Up The Night memory walk has been provisionally arranged, though this Adlington Hall gathering might have to be cancelled again this year.

Events Manager Beth Candy said: “We have a date in May booked for Light Up the Night, but it’s very much a wait and see and I’m afraid it’s looking unlikely unless things change dramatically.

“Last summer we held a Memory Miles virtual event involving people walking the miles themselves and raising money. That was hugely successful and we may do that again.

“Events have been the most impacted of all the income streams as we simply just haven’t been able to hold them.

“It’ll work out that we haven’t managed to hold a single event during the entire financial year which is obviously a really scary time for us, but we’re greatly supported by our community and that’s made a massive difference.

“It’s looking like another quieter year for events and we’re looking into more virtual/socially-distanced events through the year to keep the community together as we miss seeing everyone.

“I’ve also been extremely lucky to help in other parts of the team, such as the kitchen and housekeeping. That was a real eye opener and just reminds me why we fundraise and do what we do.

“It’s been a massive test for everyone having to adapt to keep those all-important donations coming in, but it’s all experience and learning on the job.”

Colleague Bethan Wade co-ordinates the popular Challenge Events Series which has seen a big increase in participants.

These include initiatives such as the current Lbs 4 £s weight loss and fitness programme; a Firewalk (Oct 22) and a Sahara trek (Nov 13-20), subject to overseas travel restrictions. A wing walk is also planned.

Beth and Bethan have also helped community fundraisers Carley Macey and Claire Gorton who assist with countless challenges undertaken by individuals and groups. The latest venture was another of the Virtual Quiz nights last Friday (Feb 5).

Beth Candy (left) and Bethan Wade  at Tough Woofer  in October 2019. It took place soon  after Bethan started her fundraising role at East Cheshire Hospice and no mass participation event has been held since.

Helen Adamson Walks for the Hospice

Helen Adamson decided to branch out with her own fundraising once this year’s tree collection for East Cheshire Hospice was called off.

She walked an average of more than six miles every day last month, raising more than £3,500 in the process for the Hospice.

Helen explained: “It all started after a conversation with my husband Richard who helps with the tree collection each year.

“Once it was postponed, I decided to do something in a small way to help raise funds for the Hospice.

“It was also my 60th birthday last month, so I asked family and friends to donate to the Hospice instead of buying presents.

“I love walking and thought it’d be good to set myself a little challenge by walking at least three miles every day with a family member or friend in January.

“I ended up doing a lot more than that, completing 214 miles altogether. Two of my favourite walking routes are Hare Hill and Shutlingsloe.

“The support I’ve had has been incredible and every single pound raised will go to the Hospice which needs a lot of fundraising to provide its excellent care.”

Helen raised £6,000 for Macmillan last year by walking 26 miles around Coniston Water after she was unable to run the virtual London marathon due to spinal problems.

She was deputy manager of Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital before retiring in June last year.

* To sponsor Helen visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HelenAdamson2

Helen Adamson who walked an average of more than six miles each day in January. 

Claire Joins the Fundraising Team

Claire Gorton will never forget the day she started her new job at East Cheshire Hospice.

Her arrival last month coincided with the announcement of the latest national lockdown.

It was not the news Claire and the fundraising team she had just joined wanted to hear, especially after such a frustrating year for the charity.

Claire, who is Community Fundraising Assistant, said: “The new lockdown came just as I started and in my first week it should have been our Christmas tree collection which was postponed unfortunately.

“It’s a difficult time to fundraise, but also such an important time to be fundraising. It’s going to be a challenge but that’s also exciting.

“There are plenty of ways people can fundraise without coming together. Supporters are getting more creative and adapting because of the way things are and coming up with fresh ideas.”

Claire Gorton with some of her ceramics.

Claire, from Nether Alderley, had her job interview last March with her appointment delayed by Covid-19.

Her previous job as a technical demonstrator at Quarry Bank involved explaining the cotton mill’s role in the Industrial Revolution.

She said:  “It was very interesting, I learned a lot there and it was a nice place to work. I demonstrated the old machinery for hand spinning and weaving, cotton processing and the spinning mule.

“I fell in love with storytelling and engaging the visitors, but fancied a new challenge. I saw the job advertised and enjoy talking to the public and felt it’d be exciting to get people engaged in raising money for the Hospice.”

Claire already had links with the charity, her mum Pat inspiring her to join its memory walks, while a close family friend was cared for at the Hospice.

Claire said: “I’ve been to the Hospice in a visiting capacity as well, so have that understanding of what it means to patients and their families at quite difficult times.”

Meanwhile, older brother Rob is undertaking a series of fundraising challenges, including a Hospice trek to the Sahara in November.

Claire has a degree in design crafts with ceramics her speciality.

She said:  “I’ve had a small business making and selling ceramics in my spare time since I graduated from university in 2016.

“I have a little shed on the family farm where I make my ceramics which I normally sell at places like the Treacle Market,  but that’s cancelled at the moment so I’ve been selling online.”

Claire Gorton in front the kiln in her shed with her ceramics.

Will Week Raises £8,687

East Cheshire Hospice celebrated another successful Will Week campaign despite Covid restrictions.

£8,687 was raised thanks to the support of legal firms which donated time and expertise to help the Hospice.

Participants included GPW Trusts, which is now operating at Church Street, Macclesfield, and will be able to see clients there after the latest lockdown ends.

Other firms taking part in October’s Will Week were Poole Alcock, Spall Clark, Dunkerleys LLP, Stratford Solicitors and Alfred Newton.

Kate Bowmar, the charity’s Corporate Fundraiser, said: “Will Week is an important fundraising initiative for the Hospice, especially at the moment. The campaign raises vital funds and makes our supporters consider leaving a legacy gift in their Will to the Hospice.

“It wouldn’t be a success without the goodwill and generosity of our local solicitors and the public, so we thank everyone who supported the campaign.”

The next Hospice Will Week (Oct 4-8) will be the 10th year of the initiative.

Gavin Prideaux-Williams, Estate Planning Consultant at GPW Trusts.